Though Timex is a modern day manufacturer that offers high-quality wrist clocks in a vast array of stylings, their models date back to the early 1900s and have now become widely popular for their nostalgic and, in this regard, timeless effect. Those who prefer classic yet unassuming wrist wear often splurge for the vintage Timex. There is a significant difference, however, between the genuinely antique items and those that have been reproduced to emulate the old-fashioned timepiece.
J. Crew, for example, offers the Timex Vintage Field Army Watch. Available only with an off-white face and olive strap, this Vintage Field Army Watch is a replica of a model produced by Timex in the 1940’s. Like the original, J.Crew’s model features Arabic numbers and a rugged frame. The durability of the original Timex was not lost in this translation; the Vintage Field is waterproof and bomb-resistant. This wrist wear coincides well with the less formal items of J.Crew’s catalogue, and with more casual styling in general. Ideally, it is worn with full army gear, or at least with the camouflage pants.
The J.Crew Timex is offered for $150, a significant difference from the price one may hope to pay for an authentic Timex from the Golden Era (circa 1940 – 1960). In fact, on auctioning sites such as EBay, one may be able to find, with extensive research, a vintage Timex in mint condition for as little as $25 - $30. There are no guarantees, however, as to the functionality of the watch or even its genuine authenticity (unless a certificate is provided). EBay provides a useful forum, however, for browsing a wide selection of vintage men and women’s Timex’s available for re-sale.
Another outlet available for browsing such a collection is the Timex Originals section of the main Timex website. In this section, however, one will find Timex watches currently available for sale that are modeled on originals sold throughout the entire 20th century (much like the J. Crew Army Watch). While this may educate one as to which stylings existed during the different eras of Timex’s existence, the collection is a series of re-makes. The newer models, in all their modernity, are equipped with features such as Indiglo Night-Lights and 50-meter water resistance; the result for the owner of such an accessory is timeworn feeling with flair.
The 1900’s Inspiration, for example, is modeled on the original Yankee pocket watch from the late 19th century. The bulky stainless steel and leather strap are used to replicate the centuries-old original, though its “date feature” upgrades functionality and sleekness. The 1950’s Inspiration harnesses the aesthetic of simplicity that burgeoned in that decade, and offers a line of watches in different combinations of material and color. Similar to the 1900’s Inspiration, an optional Indiglo Night-Light feature is offered to prospective buyers for illuminating the old-fashioned. The 1970’s Inspiration plays on the introduction of quartz technology into watch making in this peace/love era. As was customary at the time, the word “Quartz” is placed prominently on the watch’s face to alert nearby observers that such a technologically advanced piece of machinery is being utilized. The irony of re-imagining this feature on the modern vintage watch is clear, yet remains attractive.
In gathering research for purchase of an authentic Timex vintage watch, it is best to consult an online hub known as Vintage Timex Watch Forum. In this forum, Timex owners interested in preserving and comparing different models offer advice on even the most obscure topics relating to these vintage watches. Many, for example, hold debates concerning the best way to clean specific models, replace specific bands, or restore worn mechanics. Specific arenas of the forum will even discuss Internet outlets that provide the best deals available and highest quality products for purchase. Contributors to this archive of information are dedicated collectors with insight to show for it. Browsing through the forum will not only enhance one’s education of the Timex’s of bygone eras, but also further inform one’s shopping sensibility.
Reputable vintage watch outlets on the Internet will supply a plethora of brands to choose from, in the midst of which will most certainly be a Timex selection. Be sure, however, to research the credibility of the business before inserting credit card information. One way to check credibility is to research if the company is a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. Also, keep an eye out on the aforementioned forum for collectors interested not only in restoring their prized possessions, but also in flipping them.